As many of you probably know, New Line Cinema has long been a Time Warner Company. While being part of the Time Warner group the studio has always held its own reigns and operated independently throughout the years. All that will change, as the announcement was being made this morning that New Line Cinema will be entirely folded into Warner Brothers Entertainment.
That means, the studio will no longer be a separate entity but will be integrated into Warner Brothers. This has a lot of consequences, of course. First of all, the name “New Line Cinema” will most like go away, unless Warner decides to use it for branding purposes. But also it will be the end of an era as New Line co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne will leave the company. These are the guys who brought New Line from their early grassroots to the “Nightmare On Elm Street” glory and then further turned the studio into a major player with movies such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
For DVD enthusiasts, it will also mean that New Line’s acclaimed DVD production department headed by Michael Mulvihill will most likely be disbanded and/or moved into Warner Home Video.
On the good side, it will most likely mean also that the studios’ partners will finally be treated properly and the lawsuits stemming from unpaid royalties to people like Peter Jackson and The Tolkien Estate will most likely go away, as Warner seems to be a little more forward-thinking in those respects.
Overall, is it a good thing or a bad thing for the industry? We don’t really know, but we will sure miss New Line’s wonderful “Platinum Edition” DVDs.